It’s hard not to smile as three robo-reindeer prance smartly ahead of this sleigh. A few fluffy antlers waggle, heads are proud and high. The delicate mechanizations of their legs mimic nimble antelopes more than legs of stodgy reindeer, but I’ll believe Prancer and Dancer and Vixen. Imagine the clatter of little hooves on the roof.
I’m grateful that my humanity lets me believe in Santa and magic reindeer, in the details of Clement Clarke Moore’s antique poem and in the spirited reality of robo-reindeer on the grass. Of course robo-beings are coming, we see them walking toward us down the aisles. They won’t be able to endow Stuff with charm and character, they won’t feel jolly or have a taste for rum-laced eggnog. Robots won’t get it.
Or maybe some day they will. As my mother used to say ‘qui sait?’ — who knows? We see a technological future closing on us, prancing on shiny articulated legs. May we all hang onto our humanity while, up the chimney we go in our soot-shunning suits.
I wish us all jolliness, yumminess, silliness and the fondness of of others — including the pets. Here’s to the best in humanity enduring in a fast-changing world. Most of all I wish us all this: